What to read this summer

We asked Faculty & Staff what books they would recommend...

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Big Bucks

by Georgiana Adam.

Recommended by Mary Rozell, Professor of Art Business and Judith Prowda, Professor of Art Law

This highly readable and timely book explores the transformation of the modern and contemporary art market in the 21st century from a niche trade to a globalised operation worth an estimated $50 billion a year.

Call# N8600.A33 2014

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Duveen: The Story of the most Spectacular Art Dealer of all Time

By S. N. Behrman

Recommended by Amy Whitaker, Professor of Art Business

Everyone wanted a Duveen. In this exceptional biography S. N. Behrman tells the story of Duveen's rise to prestige, from delftware peddler to selling the greatest European paintings to the greatest American millionaires.

Call # N5247.D8 B4 2003

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The Field of Cultural Production

by Pierre Bourdieu

Recommended by Kibum Kim, Professor of Contemporary Art

The Field of Cultural Production brings together Bourdieu's major essays on art and literature and provides the first introduction to Bourdieu's writings and theory of a cultural field that situates artistic works within the social conditions of their production, circulation, and consumption.

Call # NX180.S6 B68 1993

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The Horse's Mouth: A Novel

by Joyce Cary

Recommended by Morgan Falconer, Professor of Contemporary Art

Painter hero, the charming and larcenous Gulley Jimson, has an insatiable genius for creation and a no less remarkable appetite for destruction. Is he a great artist? a has-been? or an exhausted, drunken ne'er-do-well? He is without doubt a visionary, and as he criss-crosses London in search of money and inspiration the world as seen though his eyes appears with a newly outrageous and terrible beauty.

Call # PR6005.A77 H8 1978

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Watch the film on Kanopy (streaming)

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Grace: A Memoir

by Grace Coddington

Recommended by Kathy Battista, Director, Contemporary Art Program

A rare insight into the life of Vogue's fame-averse creative director Grace Coddington. Having transitioned from a youth spent modeling to a life spent behind the lens, witty Grace opens the doors to her extraordinary past that helped define the height of fashion.

Call # TT505.C63 A3 2012

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Slouching Towards Bethlehem: Essays

by Joan Didion

Recommended by Kibum Kim

The essential portrait of America-- particularly California--in the sixties. It focuses on such subjects as John Wayne and Howard Hughes, growing up a girl in California, ruminating on the nature of good and evil in a Death Valley motel room, and, especially, the essence of San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury, the heart of the counterculture.

Call # PS3554.I3 S55 2008

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The Year of Magical Thinking

by Joan Didion

Recommended by Kathy Battista

From one of America’s iconic writers, a stunning book of electric honesty and passion. Joan Didion explores an intensely personal yet universal experience: a portrait of a marriage–and a life, in good times and bad.

Call # PS3554.I33 Z63 2005

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All the Light we Cannot See: A Novel

by Anthony Doerr

Recommended by Elizabeth Pergam, Professor of Art Business and American Fine & Decorative Arts and by Claire Hoover, Program Coordinator for Online & Continuing Education

A stunningly ambitious and beautiful novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.

Call # PS3604.O34 A77 2014

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The Expert Versus the Object: Judging Fakes and False Attributions in the Visual Arts

Edited by Ronald D. Spencer

Recommended by Judith Prowda

The essays in this book explain, based on case law, the present status of authentication issues in court. Contributors include experts from Christie's, London; Sotheby's, New York; and the former director of the Frick Collection; as well as leading art historians and art dealers; an art conservator; a forensic graphologist; a philanthropist and collector; and a specialist in French art law. Their collective knowledge on issues of authenticity will be invaluable for anyone interested in the world of visual art.

Call # N8790.E86 2004

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Painting Beyond Pollock

by Morgan Falconer

Recommended by Amy Whitaker, Professor of Art Business

Painting Beyond Pollock is a captivating account of the history of European and American painting from the mid-20th century onwards. Drawing on both original sources and contemporary scholarship, this bold and richly designed book lavishly illustrates the most important works made beginning in the Post War era.

Call # ND195.F34 2015

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The Narrow Road to the Deep North

by Richard Flanagan

Recommended by Elizabeth Pergam

August, 1943. In the despair of a Japanese POW camp on the Thai-Burma death railway, Australian surgeon Dorrigo Evans is haunted by his love affair with his uncle's young wife two years earlier. Struggling to save the men under his command from starvation, from cholera, from beatings, he receives a letter that will change his life forever.

Call # PR9619.3.F525 N37 2015

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Eating Animals

by Jonathan Safran Foer

Recommended by Kathy Battista

Jonathan Safran Foer spent much of his teenage and college years oscillating between omnivore and vegetarian. But on the brink of fatherhood-facing the prospect of having to make dietary choices on a child's behalf-his casual questioning took on an urgency His quest for answers ultimately required him to visit factory farms in the middle of the night, dissect the emotional ingredients of meals from his childhood, and probe some of his most primal instincts about right and wrong.

Call # TX392.F58 2010

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by Jonathan Franzen

Recommended by Kathy Battista

"There is something not right about the Berglunds." This novel follows several members of an American family, the Berglunds, as well as their close friends and lovers, as complex and troubled relationships unfold over many years. The book follows them through the last decades of the twentieth century and concludes near the beginning of the Obama administration. The Berglunds are the middle class suburban family that the neighbors just love to talk about.

Call # PS3556.R352 F74 2011

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Greed: A Novel

by Elfriede Jelinek

Recommended by Kathy Battista

Greed is a thriller set amid the mountains and small towns of southern Austria, where the investigation of a dead girl’s body in a lake leads to the discovery of more than a single crime. In her signature style, Jelinek chronicles the exploitative nature of relations between men and women, and the cruelties of everyday life.

Call #PT2670.E46 G5413 2007

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After Art (POINT: Essays on Architecture)

by David Joselit

Recommended by Kibum Kim

Art as we know it is dramatically changing, but popular and critical responses lag behind. In this essay, the author describes how art and architecture are being transformed in the age of Google.

Call #N71.J68 2013

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The Flamethrowers

by Rachel Kushner

Recommended by Amy Whitaker

In New York to pursue a career in the 1970s art scene, Reno falls for an Italian motorcycle heir and then mingles with the elite and radicals in Italy.

Call # PS3611.U7386 F57 2013

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Bright Lights, Big City

by Jay McInerney

Recommended by Kathleen Madden, Professor of Contemporary Art

Bright Lights, Big City is an American novel by Jay McInerney, published by Vintage Books on August 12, 1984. It is written about a character's time spent caught up in, and notably escaping from, the mid-1980s New York City fast lane.

Call # PS3563.C3694 B7 1984

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The American Painter Emma Dial: A Novel

by Samantha Peale

Recommended by Amy Whitaker

Emma Dial is a virtuoso painter who executes the works of Michael Freiburg, a preeminent figure in the New York art world. Emma Dial must choose between the security of being a studio assistant to a renowned painter and the unknown future as an artist in her own right.

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Caveat emptor : the secret life of an American art forger

by Ken Perenyi

Recommended by Lesley Cadman, Director

Ten years after the case was closed by the FBI, Ken Perenyi, an artist with an uncanny ability to mimic the work of the old masters, confesses and describes his thirty-year career as a professional art forger.

Call #N8791.P47 A2 2013

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Playing to the gallery : helping contemporary art in its struggle to be understood

by Grayson Perry

Recommended by Amy Whitaker and Mary Rozell

This funny, personal journey through the art world answers the basic questions that might occur to us in an art gallery but seem too embarrassing to ask. Questions such as: What is 'good' or 'bad' art - and does it even matter? Is there any way to test if something is art, other than a large group of people standing around looking at it?

Call # N6490.P399 2014

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Pornotopia: an essay on Playboy's architecture and biopolitics

by Beatriz Preciado

Recommended by Stephan Pascher, Professor of Contemporary Art

In Pornotopia, Beatriz Preciado examines popular culture and pornographic spaces as sites of architectural production. Combining historical perspectives with insights from critical theory, gender studies, queer theory, porn studies, and the history of technology, Preciado traces the strategic relationships among architecture, gender, and sexuality through popular sites related to the production and consumption of pornography.

Call # PN4900.P5 P73 2014

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Testo junkie : sex, drugs, and biopolitics in the pharmacopornographic era

by Paul Preciado

Recommended by Stephan Pascher

Paul B. Preciado shows the ways in which the synthesis of hormones since the 1950s has fundamentally changed how gender and sexual identity formulated. It also includes Preciado's diaristic account of his own use of testosterone every day for one year, and its mesmerizing impact on his body as well as his imagination.

Call # HQ77.9.P7413 2013

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Visual Arts and the Law: A Handbook for Professionals

By Judith Prowda

This essential handbook offers art professionals and collectors an accessible legal analysis of important principles in art law, as well as a practical guide to legal rights when creating, buying, selling and collecting art in a global market.

Call # KF4288.P76 2013

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The art collector's handbook : a guide to collection management and care

by Mary Rozell

Recommended by Judith Prowda

With the rapid and unprecedented global expansion of the art market, new collectors are emerging every day. When buying art, whether for pure enjoyment, for investment or some other motive, few art collectors consider the practical and financial implications of owning and maintaining art.

Call # N8600.R69 2014

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The Art Forger: A Novel

by B. Shapiro

Recommended by Lesley Cadman

Boston painter Claire Roth has survived financially by painting reproductions of famous artworks for a popular online retailer, so when influential gallery owner Aiden Markel arrives with a bizarre proposal, her own show if she will forge a copy of a Degas, one of the pictures stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, she says yes.

Call # PS3569.H3385 A78 2013

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Art/commerce : the convergence of art and marketing in contemporary culture

by Maria A Slowinska

Recommended by Paul Melton, Professor of Art Business

Offers a perspective on the similarity of art and commerce in contemporary culture. Combining the history and theory of art with theories of contemporary culture and marketing, this book chooses space, object/experience, and persona to bridge aesthetic appearance and theoretical discourse, and traditional divisions between art and commerce.

Call # N8600.S595 2014

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Just Kids

by Patti Smith

Recommended by Kathleen Madden

In this memoir, singer-songwriter Patti Smith shares tales of New York City : the denizens of Max's Kansas City, the Hotel Chelsea, Scribner's, Brentano's and Strand bookstores and her new life in Brooklyn with a young man named Robert Mapplethorpe--the man who changed her life with his love, friendship, and genius.

Call # ML420.S672 A3 2010b

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The Social life of things : commodities in cultural perspective

Recommended by Tom McNulty, Professor of Art Business

The meaning that people attribute to objects necessarily derives from human transactions and motivations. The contributors to this volume examine how things are sold and traded in a variety of social and cultural settings, both present and past.

Call # GN450.S63 1986

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The bride and the bachelors : five masters of the avant garde

by Calvin Tomkins

Recommended by Kathleen Madden

With lively understanding and irreverent wit, distinguished art critic Calvin Tomkins deciphers the challenging-and sometimes mystifying-work of Marcel Duchamp, John Cage, Jean Tinguely, Robert Rauschenberg, and Cerce Cunningham.

Call # ND553.D774 T6 1976

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This is water : some thoughts, delivered on a significant occasion about living a compassionate life

by David Wallace

Recommended by Kibum Kim

Only once did David Foster Wallace give a public talk on his views on life, during a commencement address given in 2005 at Kenyon College, reprinted in book form. How does one keep from going through their comfortable, prosperous adult life unconsciously? How do we get ourselves out of the foreground of our thoughts and achieve compassion? The speech captures Wallace's electric intellect as well as his grace in attention to others.

Call # LC1011.W25 2009

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The contemporaries : travels in the 21st-century art world

by Roger White

Recommended by Paul Melton

Painter and critic Roger White, co-editor of the hipster art bible "Paper Monument," takes us behind the paint-splattered scenes of today's diffuse and dazzling art world--revealing contemporary art through an artist's eyes.

Call # N8600.W49 2015

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The Painted Word

by Tom Wolfe

Recommended by Kibum Kim

Wolfe's style has never been more dazzling, his wit never more keen. He addresses the scope of Modern Art, from its founding days as Abstract Expressionism through its transformations to Pop, Op, Minimal, and Conceptual. This is Tom Wolfe "at his most clever, amusing, and irreverent"

Call # N6490.W6

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The Blind Assassin: A Novel.

by Margaret Atwood

Recommended by Laura Stowell, Library Assistant

A science fiction story told by two unnamed lovers who meet in a dingy backstreet room. Set in a multi-layered story of the death of a woman's sister and husband in the 1940's, with a novel-within-a novel as a background.

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by Diana Gabaldon

Recommended by Christin Blaschke, Library Assistant

Hurtled back through time more than two hundred years to Scotland in 1743, Claire Randall finds herself caught in the midst of an unfamiliar world torn apart by violence, pestilence, and revolution and haunted by her growing feelings for James Fraser, a young soldier.

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Carter Beats the Devil

by Glen Gold

Recommended by Renee McGarry, Senior Instructional Designer

Carter the Great, the best magician in the country in the 1920s, prepares his most outrageous stunt of all, starring none other than President Warren G. Harding.

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Irish Game: A True Story of Crime and Art

by Matthew Hart

Recommended by Christin Blaschke

In the annals of art theft, no case has matched-for sheer criminal panache-the heist at Ireland's Russborough House in 1986. With the storytelling skill of a novelist and the instincts of a detective, Matthew Hart follows the twists and turns of this celebrated case, linking it with two other world-famous thefts-of Vermeer's "The Concert" and other famous paintings at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, and of Edvard Munch's "The Scream" at the National Gallery of Norway in Oslo.

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The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

by Marie Kondo

Recommended by Erin Elliott, Head Librarian

This best-selling guide to decluttering your home from Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes readers step-by-step through her revolutionary KonMari Method for simplifying, organizing, and storing.

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Chronic City: A Novel

by Jonathan Lethem

Recommended by Renee McGarry

A searing portrayal of Manhattanites wrapped in their own delusions, desires and lies. Chase lives off residuals earned as a child star, living a life of cloistered ease, until a pop critic with a conspiratorial counter cultural savvy forces him to confront the answer to several mysteries tightly intertwined within the tragic fabric of the city itself.

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An Object of Beauty: A Novel

by Steve Martin

Recommended by Nicole Hoffecker, Administrative Assistant

Steve Martin's latest novel examines the glamour and the subterfuge of the fine art world in New York City.

Call # PS3563.A7293 O35 2010

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Iberia: Spanish travels and reflections

by James Michener

Recommended by Lauren Puzier, Reference & Cataloging Librarian

Here, in the fresh, vivid prose that is James Michener's trademark, is the real Spain as he experiences it. He not only reveals the celebrated Spain of bullfights and warrior kings, painters and processions, cathedrals and olive orchards; he also shares the intimate, often hidden Spain he has come to know, where toiling peasants and their honest food, the salt of the shores and the oranges of the inland fields, the congeniality of living souls and the dark weight of history conspire to create a wild, contradictory, passionately beautiful land, the mystery called Iberia.

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The Heist: A Novel

by Daniel Silva

Recommended by Laura Stowell

Gabriel Allon, art restorer and occasional spy, searches for a stolen masterpiece by Caravaggio. Sometimes the best way to find a stolen masterpiece is to steal another one.

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The Goldfinch

by Donna Tartt

Recommended by Alicia Bochi, Associate Director for Alumni Relations

Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates, and tormented by his longing for his mother, he clings to the one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

Call # PS3570.A657 G65 2013

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The Finger: A Handbook

by Angus Trumble

Recommended by Laura Stowell

In this collision between art and science, history and pop culture, the acclaimed art historian Angus Trumble examines the finger from every possible angle. His inquiries into its representation in art take us from Buddhist statues in Kyoto to the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, from cave art to Picasso's Guernica, from Van Dyck's and Rubens's winning ways with gloves to the longstanding French taste for tapering digits.

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The Art of Simple Food: Notes, Lessons, and Recipes from a Delicious Revolution

by Alice Waters

Recommended by Claire Hoover, Program Coordinator Online and Continuing Education

Here you will find Alice's philosophy on everything from stocking your kitchen, to mastering fundamentals and preparing delicious, seasonal inspired meals all year long. Always true to her philosophy that a perfect meal is one that's balanced in texture, color, and flavor, Waters helps us embrace the seasons' bounty and make the best choices when selecting ingredients.

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About Us

Sotheby's Institute of Art Library
Erin Elliott, Head Librarian
Lauren Puzier, Reference and Cataloguing Librarian
Alex Batkin, Library Assistant
Hadley Beacham, Sophia Lee, Christin Blaschke & Laura Stowell, Student Assistants